By Eduardo Maisonet, III / @edthesportsfan
For FOX Deportes
For a team that is as flashy as Spain is, some have labeled them boring. A captivating statement indeed, especially since I felt myself nodding a bit during the final between Spain and Italy. All the possession in the world along with the French Toast I ate for breakfast caused me to nod off for a few seconds. When I closed my eyes the score was 2-0, when I awoke it was 4-0. I rewinded my DVR and watched the mastery displayed again on my big screen. Beautifully boring, stunningly simple.
Over an 8-hour workshift gone without giving up a goal to close Euro 2012, Spain completed their championship journey with the biggest margin of victory in a Euro final ever. Spain are now winners of three consecutive major international tournaments and have put the rest of the world to bed. Wake up.
1. Andres Iniesta should be in contention for best footballer in the world. I’m not sure when it happened, because I’ve watched Spain at least 10-15 times and Barcelona another 20+ times over the last 4 years, but watching Iniesta dominate and facilitate the ball in such a fashion during Euro 2012 makes me wonder if he’s not the best player in the world. Lets not forget the following: Iniesta was named to the “Team of the Tournament” in Euro 2008, Iniesta kicked the World Cup winning goal versus the Netherlands two years ago, and now he was named the player of the tournament in Euro 2012.
Maybe he flourishes so much due to the talent around him, but its hard to deny the fact that Iniesta has been central to the success of Spain’s last three championship conquests.
2. So much for David Villa, right? Same for Carles Puyol too. Its not anything negative towards one player that was considered the best striker on Spain and the other player who was considered the best back line player on La Furia Roja but….
One…Spain virtually went the entire tournament playing zero strikers. Two…Spain gave up one goal the entire tournament. Its a testament to how deep Spain is, and the philosophy they play under. They haven’t rebuilt, they have reloaded. They’re stronger than ever and its no question they are already heavy favorites to win the 2014 World Cup.
3. How in hades did Fernando Torres get the Golden Boot? Speaking of how deep Spain is, scoring goals all over the place. When did Fernando Torres score all these goals? How is he even allowed to win the Golden Boot? Wasn’t the man over there sulking for the majority of the tournament? Why are his kids the most adorable little people I’ve ever seen on a football pitch? HOW DID FERNANDO TORRES WIN THE GOLDEN BOOT???
I’m sorry, lets just change the subject. I’m not going to get over this for awhile.
4. When will the “fan celebrating with the winning team” fad end? When Hank Aaron hit home run 715, watching the two drunken gents chase down Hank to shake his hand was the stuff of legend. The entire “what are these two dudes doing there?” feeling, along with the “wow that’s cool Hank shook their hands” after-thought is was made the moment special. However, our lack of trust for fans and their intentions are now leaned towards the worst.
So when the Spanish supporter hopped into the celebration huddle, got a few hops in, and was quickly removed from the players, I didn’t even flinch. However, I did flinch when Xabi Alonso rared back and threw a right hook towards the spectator. Soccer players trying to fight? Never.
5. Saint Iker. The man didn’t have to do a ton, but its about quality versus quantity, right? The man has had a clean sheet for approximately 8 and a half hours in Euro 2012 and was the ultimate spectator for witnessing Spain short pass all competitors to death. Casillas, the captain, carries it so differently than his teammates. Maybe its the goalie in him, but the classy backstop for Spain was the first to shake all hands of the Italian side, while his fellow pitchmen got their “Miami Heat” celebration on. So its fitting that The Captain is the one to hoist the trophy, gets the biggest cheer, and the ultimate respect from everyone across the world.
I get the feeling that there are many that don’t like Spain. Maybe its their style of play (some people loathe it), maybe its their dainty players, maybe its just the fact that folks hate a winner (ding-ding), but I can’t remember anyone who’s said a negative word towards Iker Casillas. Saint Iker cleanses any dirty taste one could have for La Furia Roja, they are the best team of our generation and deserve our highest respect.